[h2]Afghan commandos backed by US soldiers seized a record haul of more than 91 tons of drugs and killed 60 fighters in an attack on a key insurgent and heroin supply base. [/h2]
The four-day operation in southern Afghanistan also found tons of bomb-making equipment and heroin-processing chemicals.
US officials said the raid had struck an area in Marjeh, in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province, long considered a safe haven for insurgents and drug barons.
Among the drugs seized were 17 tons of black tar opium, 74 tons of opium poppy seeds, 400lbs of hashish and 443lbs of heroin.
Coalition forces have increasingly targeted Afghanistan's rampant drug industry, which provides 90 per cent of world heroin, as the close links between drug money and the Taliban-led insurgency have become clearer.
The opium crop is estimated to be worth £2 billion a year, with insurgents thought to cream off at least £100 million through tithes, crop protection and providing convoy guards.
"The four-day operation severely disrupted one of the key militant and criminal operations and narcotics hubs in southern Afghanistan," said Col Greg Julian, a US military spokesman.
The haul is the biggest ever seized by Afghan forces. Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi, added: "The militants and criminals crawled away defeated and operationally-neutered."
The weapons and drugs were found in Marjeh's Loy Cherah Bazaar, which had been evacuated of civilians before the raid officials said.
Among bomb making materials found were 27 tons of ammonium nitrate, along with detonators, blasting caps, pressure plates, mortars and several jugs packed with explosives ready for detonation.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul
Source - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...-make-record-drug-seizure-in-Afghanistan.html